Best of the 1950's

by nick2151 | created - 23 Jun 2011 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

My picks for the 42 best films of the 1950's in chronological order

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1. The Young and the Damned (1950)

Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama

A group of juvenile delinquents live a violent and crime-filled life in the festering slums of Mexico City, and the morals of young Pedro are gradually corrupted and destroyed by the others.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Alfonso Mejía, Roberto Cobo, Estela Inda, Miguel Inclán

Votes: 16,587

2. Un Chant D'Amour (1950)

Not Rated | 26 min | Short, Fantasy, Romance

Two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by the thick brick walls, and desperately in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication.

Director: Jean Genet | Stars: Bravo, Jean Genet, Java, Coco Le Martiniquais

Votes: 2,849

3. Devil's Doorway (1950)

Approved | 84 min | Romance, Western

After the Civil War, a highly decorated Shoshone Indian veteran plans to raise cattle in Wyoming but white farmers plan to grab fertile tribal lands by pitting the whites against the Indians.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Robert Taylor, Louis Calhern, Paula Raymond, Marshall Thompson

Votes: 1,208

4. In a Lonely Place (1950)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid

Votes: 23,161

5. Strangers on a Train (1951)

PG | 101 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

88 Metascore

A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 116,445 | Gross: $7.63M

6. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

G | 92 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe

Votes: 73,353

7. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

99 Metascore

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

Votes: 202,706 | Gross: $8.82M

8. Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka

Votes: 60,615 | Gross: $0.06M

9. The Naked Spur (1953)

Passed | 91 min | Thriller, Western

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker

Votes: 9,314

10. Ugetsu (1953)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Mito

Votes: 18,545 | Gross: $0.01M

11. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy

Monsieur Hulot comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation, where he accidentally (but good-naturedly) causes havoc.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla, Valentine Camax

Votes: 15,434

12. Summer with Monika (1953)

R | 96 min | Drama, Romance

A pair of teenagers meet one summer day, start a reckless affair and abandon their families to be with one another.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg, Dagmar Ebbesen, Åke Fridell

Votes: 11,257

13. Tokyo Story (1953)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura, Setsuko Hara

Votes: 45,686

14. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 292,224 | Gross: $0.27M

15. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama

In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô

Votes: 12,963

16. Rear Window (1954)

PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller

100 Metascore

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 410,463 | Gross: $36.76M

17. Johnny Guitar (1954)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Western

83 Metascore

After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady

Votes: 14,257

18. Pather Panchali (1955)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.

Director: Satyajit Ray | Stars: Kanu Bannerjee, Karuna Bannerjee, Subir Banerjee, Chunibala Devi

Votes: 19,971 | Gross: $0.54M

19. La Pointe Courte (1955)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama

There are two parts to this film: sequences of life in the fishing village of La Pointe Courte (a government inspector's visit, the death of a child) alternate with others following a ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Silvia Monfort, Marcel Jouet, Albert Lubrano

Votes: 2,154

20. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Director: Charles Laughton | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason

Votes: 76,734 | Gross: $0.65M

21. Diabolique (1955)

Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal hatch a plan to murder him while having the perfect alibi. They carry out the plan...but then his body disappears.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Votes: 58,063

22. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez

Votes: 17,131

23. The Ladykillers (1955)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Crime

91 Metascore

Five oddball criminals planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom

Votes: 24,573

24. All That Heaven Allows (1955)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama, Romance

An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead, Conrad Nagel

Votes: 12,138

25. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

92 Metascore

A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan

Votes: 41,945

26. Bigger Than Life (1956)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon

Votes: 6,246

27. The Searchers (1956)

Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

94 Metascore

An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond

Votes: 74,696

28. Aparajito (1956)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

Following his father's death, a boy leaves home to study in Calcutta, while his mother must face a life alone.

Director: Satyajit Ray | Stars: Pinaki Sengupta, Smaran Ghosal, Kamala Adhikari, Lalchand Banerjee

Votes: 9,954 | Gross: $0.17M

29. Night and Fog (1956)

Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler

Votes: 15,911

30. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 147,853

31. Paths of Glory (1957)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War

After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready

Votes: 161,857

32. The Nights of Cabiria (1957)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi, Dorian Gray

Votes: 39,532 | Gross: $0.75M

33. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Not Rated | 81 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.

Director: Jack Arnold | Stars: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton

Votes: 14,681

34. Wild Strawberries (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 86,673

35. Touch of Evil (1958)

PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 93,971 | Gross: $2.24M

36. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Romance, War

As WWII and the German occupation ends, the Polish resistance and the Russian forces turn on each other in an attempt to take over leadership in Communist Poland.

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Zbigniew Cybulski, Ewa Krzyzewska, Waclaw Zastrzezynski, Adam Pawlikowski

Votes: 9,538

37. Vertigo (1958)

PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

100 Metascore

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 330,824 | Gross: $3.20M

38. Shadows (1958)

PG | 87 min | Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd, Anthony Ray

Votes: 9,263

39. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

97 Metascore

When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft

Votes: 226,564 | Gross: $25.00M

40. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas, Pierre Barbaud

Votes: 25,563 | Gross: $0.09M

41. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 94,912

42. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Dave Burke hires two very different debt-burdened men for a bank robbery. Suspicion and prejudice threaten to end their partnership.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame, Shelley Winters

Votes: 3,271



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